Living with a teacher for over 25 years, I know that teachers tend to think different when it comes to the concept of a “year”. Where the rest of the world thinks in terms of calendar years, teachers tend to think in school years. From one summer holiday to the next summer holiday.
Living on a school campus for over one year, I start to adept to think of school years rather than calendar years.
At first, I did not think much about it. But now we start a new year, a calendar year, I notice the difference. Normally at the end of a calendar year I look back, reflecting on the past year. On the work done, the achievement, the highlights. And I look forward to the year to come, not just to the summer, but the full calendar year to come.
But now… it feels weird looking back beyond the past summer, it’s like part of the previous year, ages ago! And looking forward beyond the summer feels like looking 2 years ahead instead of one. How confusing!
So instead of starting a new year, it’s more like starting the second half of the current school year, with the summer as the natural year end. What we look back on? A pretty turbulent half year to say the least! Traveling back home over summer, 4 weeks quarantine upon arrival in China, Hendrik Willem becoming Head of Department, me getting my work permit denied and getting my company registered outside of China as a result of it, Hendrik Willem’s father passing away and a 25-year anniversary! All in just 6 months.
And looking forward the rollercoaster is just getting started or so it seems. We are starting another adventure at the end of this year – school year! Sooner than we had hoped when we moved to China. As much as we like our jobs, the campus, the people we meet, the local food and the Chinese culture…. The price we pay for living in one of the most restricted and closed countries during the pandemic is too high for us. Not being able to see our family and friends, not being able to share our life here with any visitors from back home, not being able to make business trips to meet customers outside of China…it’s not what we envisioned. And so, like many other expats around us, we decided that this is perhaps not the best time to live in this fascinating, beautiful country.
So, what’s next? Well, we are just at curious as you to find out! Stay tuned.
For now, we wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Or Mid Year! 😃
Enjoying the cold but beautiful surroundings of Yangshuo, close to Guilin in the south of China, where we also celebrate New Year's Eve with colleagues Gery and Mariya.